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Poe - Insanity In His Characters

2 Pages 485 Words

Poe uses a myriad of settings and plots in his stories and poems. The
common thread is that his narrators appear to be insane. This is exhibited in
“The Cask of Amontillado”, “The Tell Tale Heart”, and “The Black Cat.”
Montressor, the narrator of “The Cask of Amontillado,” exhibits insanity.
At the beginning of the story, Montressor speaks with intense anger and
remorse. The reader is then told that the incident occurred fifty years ago.
Obviously, a person who would hold a grudge for fifty years so strongly that he
desires to kill a man, this narrator has psychological problems. Also, the way
that Montressor meticulously planned out the murder of Fortunato shows that
he is obsessive and has psychological problems. The murder that Montressor
killed him, by chaining him up to a wall and building a wall around him, is a
warped, cruel way to kill him. Montressor exhibits insanity in “The Cask of
The second narrator that exhibits insanity is the anonymous narrator of
“The Tell Tale Heart.” The narrator was driven to callous murder of the poor
elderly man because of a strange eye. The narrator even doubts his own
insanity stating, “But why will you say that I am mad?” (Poe) Yet the irony is,
had not the narrator immediately assumed that he had to defend himself
against us thinking that he is mad, that in itself promoted the very idea to the
reader, that he is mad. He later on states, “Now this is the point. You fancy
me mad,” (Poe) confirming the initial hypothesis that he is insane. At the
conclusion of the story, the narrator is arrested by the authorities because he
imagines hearing a heart beat that no one else hears. The anonymous narrator
of “The Tell Tale Heart” is without a doubt insane.
The third narrator that exhibits insanity is the anonymous narrator of
“The Black Cat.” The author begins the story stating, “I neither expect nor

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